Pittsburgh Pirates Top Five Third Basemen
By David Hill
4. Bill Madlock (1979-1985)
Bill Madlock seemed to be rather underappreciated. He was a four time batting champion, yet only made three All-Star games and never won a Silver Slugger award. Despite putting solid power and speed totals together, Madlock never placed higher than sixth on an MVP ballot. While he may not have been Hall of Fame caliber, Madlock only received 4.5% of the vote in his only year on the ballot.
Yet, Madlock was a key performer for the Pittsburgh Pirates during his tenure here. He won batting titles in 1981 and in 1983, while finishing second in 1982 with a .319 batting average. He was a solid on base threat, showing a solid batting eye and a tremendous ability to put a bat on the ball. Just look at his 1981 season when he struck out only 17 times in 320 plate appearances. For his career, Madlock only struck out 510 times in 15 years.
During his tenure with the Pirates, Bill Madlock was at his best. He produced a .297/.357/.428 batting line with 68 home runs and 82 stolen bases, while hitting 155 doubles. That excellent bat control and eye at the plate was fully evident during his time in Pittsburgh, as Madlock walked 275 times while striking out only in only 206 of his at bats.
Madlock, the last captain for the Pirates, was a solid performer and was fairly underrated. As it is, he ranks fourth all time on the list of Pittsburgh Pirates third basemen.
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